You had great talks at the trade fair and were able to make valuable connections. And now? Customers are becoming more and more digital and have new expectations. Read here how you can take advantage of this, how you can write to interested persons correctly after the trade fair contact and which digital tools can help you.
Significance of trade fairs in B2B
Specialist trade fairs have a huge well-being factor. This was shown by a Statista survey (German) on the significance of a trade fair appearance. From 2010 to 2018, the number of companies who see a continual value in trade fairs, has declined by just 3 per cent, to 65 per cent. In contrast, lead generation has been going digital for years. More and more decision-makers are millennials. But why does just 20 per cent of the marketing budget, according to a BVIK survey (German), go towards digital marketing, while nearly twice as much is spent on trade fairs and events? It’s more important than ever to meet up with your trade fair contacts on a digital level when following up.
Strategy for capturing and following up on trade fair contacts
Capture. Write. Follow up. In all three areas, there is lots of room for improvement in many companies.
1. Capture your trade fair contacts digitally
Tools like SIMLEA or SnapADDY help you to capture your trade fair contacts digitally. You take photos of business cards and generate a contact automatically – via app and in compliance with GDPR. You can then export contacts into your lead management system.
2. The first letter after the trade fair contact
The first contact should take place within one week. Approach your contact in personal way as far as possible and avoid the use of standard sayings. Instead, give a concrete call to action that your trade fair contact can profit from, such as the download of a white paper or updates via a B2B newsletter.
3. Optimisation of the follow-up
Stretch out the frequency of contact after one, three and six months. But don’t give up. Provide your trade fair contact with information about a new product highlight. Experiment with tools. Maybe it’s time for a different email marketing or CRM software.
The BANT method: how to select the most attractive trade fair contact
First, focus on potential leads when writing to trade fair contact. The BANT method gives a good tried-and-tested approach for this. It stands for:
1. Budget: How high is the client’s budget?
2. Authority: Is your contact really the decision-maker?
3. Need: Can you solve the client’s problem?
4. Timing: Can you keep to the defined time period?
The important thing about this method is that you do not check back with your trade fair contact using standard mechanical communication. Get a dialogue started with potential leads, listen to them and ask questions.
Tools for digital lead generation
Small and medium-sized enterprises can profit from a diverse range of digital tools for leads generation. The mix is essential. You want to digitally communicate with your customer over the long term, to create true value and thus build up trust. Three tools are ideal for this:
1. Use LinkedIn to follow up on trade fair contacts
In the DACH region, XING continues to be the dominating professional social network. But LinkedIn, which was able to score points on an international level above all, is continually picking up pace. There are many opportunities here to establish yourself and generate leads. Give your contacts access to interesting content. Offer help via the comments. And increase your reach with ads and the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
2. Google Ads for smart leads generation
The search engine giant is relying massively on artificial intelligence for its Google Ads advertising system. With so-called Smart Bidding, campaigns can be automatically optimised, for instance for leads generation. The bid strategy is decisive in this case. SMEs can also leverage machine learning for campaigns in a targeted way.
3. CRM for managing trade fair contacts
Customer relation software (CRM) can do so much more than manage customer data. Here is where you can set up offers as well as manage payments, contracts and appointments. Many CRM feature integrated email marketing, mail synchronisation and reports. For traditional sales, a tool like Pipedrive is suitable, as it manages leads and deals. But other CRM tools such as Salesforce or Hubspot are also popular alternatives.